Geostatistics Wollongong 96 - Proceedings of the Fifth International Geostatistics Congress, Wollongong, Australia, September 1996
Despite its economical importance, the natural stones industry suffers from a lack of planning tools to assist the exploitation management in taking objective decisions. This paper is a contribution to mitigate this drawback by proposing a geostatistical methodology that permits to assess, prior to extraction, the value of the 'in situ' material, by combining a series of disparate and heterogeneous geological and geotechnical attributes that can be observed or measured in the quarry. In order to apply the geostatistical techniques to this peculiar situation, it is needed to adjust them to the specific nature of the variables that control the economics of the extraction process. In particular, a discussion is given on the standardisation problems arising from the combination of data obtained by different sources (image digitising, drill holes, geological observations in the working faces, etc.). Based on a representative set of attributes (length, curvature, density and orientation of fractures, presence of veinlets, weathering effects, metamorphic orientated fabric, kink-bands, sand laminations, oxide and carbonate inclusions, RQD), three case studies summarise the results of the research conducted on the application of geostatistics to the evaluation of block quality values in marble, schist and slate quarries, located in Portugal and Spain.
Year of publication: 1999